FURTHER details of how thousands of young people will be helped into employment through the third sector have been outlined by the Scottish Government.
An £8.5m package has been put together by ministers to tackle the problem, £6m of which will go to help 1,000 more young people into work via Community Jobs Scotland.
There will also be a new £2.5 million Challenge Fund to support the third sector to work with other employers to deliver 800 opportunities for young people.
Angela Constance, minister for youth employment, said the key criteria of this fund will be a demonstrable track record of success, strong links with employers and innovative approaches not replicated elsewhere in the system.
In terms of both funds, organisations will be invited to submit proposals for 2012-13 in the weeks ahead she said.
The investment is the second tranche of funding from the additional £30 million announced in December to tackle youth unemployment throughout Scotland.
Announcing the funding, Constance said: “Community Jobs Scotland draws and improves on similar schemes, such as the Future Jobs Fund, by providing employability training for participants.
“Although the scheme has only been running since August it has already had a life-changing impact on a number of participants.”
The announcement follows extensive consultation with the private, public, third sector bodies and young people themselves.
Constance added: “That is a dialogue that will continue as we consider options for the remaining funding available to support the Opportunities for All fund.
Donna McKinnon, director of employment services at SCVO, said the announcement was recognition that the third sector was able to deliver solutions to youth unemployment.
“This investment from the Scottish Government will see a return that goes beyond financial gain,” she said.
“It gives young people the opportunity to gain real life work experience in real jobs and gives them a crucial foot-up on the career ladder.
“Training for skills is also important for young people in their formative careers so a balance between experience and training, which Community Jobs Scotland offers, is proven to be the best way forward to get young people equipped for employment.”
Nearly 90,000 unemployed people in Scotland are in the 18 to 24 category.
In addition to the government’s investment in the third sector a record 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship places will be made available this year.
|UK youth job scheme open to charities|
|THE way has been paved for third sector groups to take part in the UK Government’s £1bn Youth Contract which aims to get 18 to 24 year olds into work.
The scheme offers employers subsidies of up to £2,275 for each young person they employ.
From April 2012 the Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds over three years.
An announcement by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg this week revealed more details of the scheme.
However, cash will be available to employers only after six months, although smaller companies, including charities, will be allowed to pick up initial payments after two months.
“Getting young people earning or learning is my top priority, and that’s what the Youth Contract is going to do,” said Clegg.
“This is a long-term boost to help business get young people into jobs before lasting damage is done.”
It will also support at least 20,000 extra incentive payments worth £1,500 each for employers to take on young people as apprentices, taking the total number of payments available to 40,000.